How to maintain your gainz for the summer…
Here’s our first special guest Blog entry from our very own Michael Pastore Jnr!
It’s summer and if you have extra time you may be spending it at the beach. If you’re a Brit member, you just went through a brutal squat cycle and probably never want to see the rep scheme 12, 9, 6, 3 paired with back squats ever again. However, you sucked it up, stuck with it and if you put forth a good effort I bet you hit some nice juicy PR’s these last two weeks. You have gotten stronger! Now you can’t wait to go show off those new gainz at the beach. People so often work hard all spring, fall and winter to build their body so when summer comes around they can flaunt it off to the world and you should. You worked hard to build a better version of yourself. You deserve to feel confident that each summer you look better than the last. However, too often I see and talk to tons of people that make the same mistakes each summer, and these mistakes, whether they know it or not, are severely setting them back and canceling out a lot of their hard work.
Below are 3 tips on how to maintain all your gainz during the summer and keep the progress building.
1. DO NOT go on a low cal diet. Every summer I have friends, who lift their asses off all year long, get significantly stronger, and as soon as beach season approaches, they decide to cut calories in an attempt to get “Shredded”. This NEVER works! If we think about it in basic terms, you have just built a stronger better version of yourself hopefully by training properly and eating good foods. You’ve developed some extra muscle, muscle that needs nutrients (food) to support its continuous growth, recovery, and sustainability but you decide to cut off that resource. When that resource is removed all of your new, strong, beautifully made muscles are removed with it. This perspective almost always seems to be created by the “need for a flatter stomach”. Cutting down your calories will not help with this. Yes, you may burn some fat but you will also shrink muscle and it will not remove the small pooch in your lower abdomen. Never! You will just be left looking about the same, with less muscle and as a weaker version of yourself.
2. Do not limit your water intake. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen guys or girls dehydrate themselves in attempt to look “Shredded” for their weekend Vegas trip. This is a perception created by bodybuilders who dehydrate themselves to severely unhealthy conditions for competitions. First off, the body builders we know and see, are probably on some type of drug. Drugs that allow them to maintain a lean body, dehydrate themselves all while still building mass amounts of muscle. Growth hormone, coupled with testosterone and some diuretic thrown in for good measure. All illegal and taken in the context of bodybuilding (aesthetics) rather than for athletic performance. For 99.9% of the population when you are dehydrated you are not in an optimal state for building or even maintaining muscle. A lack of water will actually make your muscles look flatter, more deflated and (if you’ve ever noticed) unable to get a good “Pump”. Yes thats right. If you ever had a solid bro sesh and felt like your muscles were just lacking any blood flow or “pump” no matter how many preacher curls you do the chances are its because you are dehydrated. Now I’m not saying stock up on gallon jugs and pound water all day because that can be just as hazardous as well. In general the human body needs .66oz of water per lb to obtain optimal hydration. Too much water can often lead to the body flushing (peeing) out too many minerals, salts and nutrients. A good rule of thumb is to drink when you’re thirsty. That’s it! If I was to recommend one tip to everyone this summer it would be to add a pinch of salt to each 16oz bottle of water they drink. Now when I say salt I don’t mean any salt. I mean himalayan salt. Salt that is pink in nature and has 84 trace minerals. Natural electrolytes. Table salt is actually stripped of all its minerals and bleached, where as sea salt is slowly becoming more poisonous with the environmental issues occurring in our oceans. Adding himalayan salt to your water will add back some of the needed salt to your body, help your body hold on to the electrolytes and minerals you are consuming. It will also reduce any chances of cramping during a tough workout and provide you with a big boost in energy. Every morning when I wake up I consume all my supplements with a full bottle of water and a pinch of salt.
3. Finally and most importantly we all know everyone is going to consume some cocktails this summer. In an ideal world you wouldn’t drink any alcohol but the reality is drink is an important part of socializing for most people. I respect anyone who decides, for whatever reason, not to drink and they will be significantly healthier for it but whether you enjoy 1 or 5 or 10 drinks the best of the worst is always something clear. My favorite bro cocktails are tequila and tonic with a lime or Stoli and water with lemon. Binging on fruity cocktails and beer that are overloaded with sugar will leave you dehydrated, malnourished and gainzless. On nights that you do drink try to consume a bottle of water with a pinch of salt before bed. Depending on how many drinks you’ve had you should feel relatively fresh and ready to train in the morning.
Hope this offers some good insight on how to stay jacked and maintain your strength gainz throughout the summer. Until next time keep squatting!!